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Cutting carbon emissions with Pemex

March 5, 2007, 16:00 CET

Statoil and the Mexican state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) have signed a deal to reduce carbon emissions from the Tres Hermanos oil field in Mexico.


Per Øivind Johansen of Statoil (left), Knut Solem, Norway’s ambassador to Mexico, Jesús Reyes Heroles, general director of Pemex and Carlos A Morales Gil, general director for exploration and production in Pemex, signing the agreement in Mexico City. (Photo: Henry Romero)

The onshore field lies in the Tampico-Misantla basin on Mexico's east coast. Oil has been produced here for over 100 years. Now Statoil's Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) experience is being transferred to the Mexican oil field.

The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two million tonnes of carbon equivalent from the Tres Hermanos field by 2018 through reduced flaring.

"Operations with strict environmental and emissions requirements on the NCS make Statoil world-leading in this area," says Per Øivind Johansen, who heads business development based on the Kyoto Protocol in the Technology & Projects (T&P) business area.

"This is expertise we want to use elsewhere in the world."

Statoil is hoping that the Tres Hermanos project will receive United Nations approval according to the clean development mechanism (CDM) in the Kyoto Protocol.

CDM is one of three Kyoto mechanisms that will make emissions reductions effective worldwide. The CDM initiative gives a country the option of investing in emission-reducing measures in another country. The investor country can then use the emissions reduction from such projects to fulfill its own Kyoto commitments.

The deal with Pemex involves Statoil purchasing carbon quotas for future emission reductions from Tres Hermanos.

Instead of burning gas that is produced together with oil, gas will be separated into methane and natural gas liquids (ethane, propane and butane). These products are sold in the market. This is possible since Statoil pays for the emissions certificates that are issued. Pemex thereby gets a new source of income.

"The project is an important contributor to Statoil and Norway meeting its emissions targets," says Mr Johansen.

Statoil and Pemex are now working with similar emission-reducing projects.